BEING A BIG
It doesn’t take special skills, lots of money, or any specific personality type. All it takes is someone who will stand with a child as a friend and ally — someone who will help clear the path to their biggest possible future. All they need is you by their side to become the person they were already meant to be. You’ve got what it takes, and we want you on the team. Join us in our mission to create life-changing friendships.
BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING
Benefits for Bigs
Benefits for Littles
Decrease your risk for depression
Volunteering with and for others increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on commitment and interests.
Increase in confidence
When Littles are matched with a Big, they feel they are more self-confident and socially accepted.
"The Happiness Effect"
The release of dopamine in the brain that gives you the feel-good sensation that happens when you help others.
Littles have better attitudes about school and improved grades.
Greater self-awareness directly affects decision-making, coordination and conflict management.
Avoidance of risky behavior
When Littles have an extra support person in their corner, they tend to improve their overall behavior, including avoiding violence, alcohol and drugs.
Q) What are the requirements to become a Big?
A) Bigs must be:
-19 years or older. (Our current Bigs range from 19 to 70+)
-a high school graduate or hold a GED.
-have a valid driver's license and current automobile insurance.
-meet specific criminal history and automobile driving guidelines.
Q) How much time will I be expected to spend with my Little?
A) Bigs will pick their Little up at their home and spend at least four hours a month total on two or more separate outings.
Q) How long can a match last?
A) We ask for a minimum commitment of one year for each match we make. However, if both parties wish, matches may remain active until the Little turns 18 or graduates from high school.
Q) How long will it take to get matched?
A) We do not operate on a first come first served basis. The waiting period varies for the different type of Big. At our agency, we typically have a list of close to 100 Little Brothers and Little Sisters waiting to be matched at any given time.
Q) Is there a cost involved with this program?
A) Your financial output should be very minimal. We encourage our matches to do low and no-cost activities. Your assigned Match Support Specialists can help you with activity ideas. Children are expected to pay their own way when activities involve a cost. We also have a list of participating businesses that give special discounts to our Big-Little matches.
Q) May I choose the type of child I will be matched with?
A) Through the interview process, our Enrollment Coordinators will get to know you and will work with you to identify a child with whom you will be best matched, based upon age, background, interests and other factors.
Q) Does Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands accept LGBTQ volunteers?
A) Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands values diversity, and no person will be denied equal opportunity under applicable laws to volunteer because of race, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. Preferences, fit and similarity of interests are taken into consideration. As part of the matching process, we will disclose such information to the parent/guardian. If preferences are not aligned, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Midlands will work to find a Little who we believe will be a good match for you.
Q) Can I bring my spouse/friend/family member on outings?
A) In the beginning, it’s important for you and your Little to get to know each other. This happens best on a one-to-one basis. Over time, it is also valuable for your Little to get to know the people who are important to you. But remember to keep it to a minimum; the main focus is the friendship you have with your Little.
Q) What happens if my match doesn’t work out well?
A) We do everything in our power to make a make a match we think will last; however, we realize that sometimes things happen in life. Bigs or Littles move, situations change or something doesn’t work out. We will attempt to mediate the situation, but if it doesn’t work out, we will end the match. If this happens, your Match Support Specialist will be there to support you every step of the way and handle it in the best way possible. A Big should never just drop out of a Little’s life without closure as this is very detrimental to the child.